Op-Ed: 10 powerful social media marketing strategies that work

Posted: October 10, 2013 in Entertainment, fiances, financial, Help, life, money, news, work
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The social web is a powerful platform where companies can promote their products and cultivate a loyal following. To succeed in social media marketing, they must take a proactive approach and develop immersive strategies to engage with their followers.

As the Internet’s latest iteration, the social web has been providing users with a powerful platform for communication, entertainment, and productivity. For brands, jumping into social media marketing is an obvious decision. This is because billions of people worldwide spend hours on social networking sites.

This is simply a fact companies cannot ignore, and so they go where the people go. This whole social media revolution prompted a significant change in the advertising and marketing fields; connections and engagements are now prioritized over traditional marketing’s “eyeballs.”

The challenge

With the blitzkrieg-esque online marketing diaspora at hand, companies are facing many challenges. For instance, they need to constantly compete for their targeted demographic’s attention. And then they also need to compete against everything else online like the massive amount of news, memes, and games.

Due to distractions like these, businesses will definitely need to step up to the plate, and create powerful campaigns to boost their social media marketing initiatives. Companies will need to do more than just tweet and post their messages online, they’ll need a more proactive approach.

Powerful online marketing tips

Some strategies work and some don’t. Some can launch a brand to stardom, others can pull your company to infamy. If you’re a new brand testing the social media waters, here are 10 truly effective tactics your company should be adopting.

1. Expand your platforms

If you have a website, you’ll need to expand your channels by building your social media platforms. But aside from Facebook and Twitter, it’s best to identify other sites that will prove helpful for your brand and its campaigns. Retail brands, for instance, may set up a Pinterest page to showcase their products; musicians, on the other hand, may create a page on BandCamp to promote their albums and other social media marketing-geared content and promotions.

2. Unify your online assets

Creating a consistent feel across your online properties ensures a solid user experience and strengthens your brand’s identity. This builds awareness and promotes your social media pages, and drives traffic to your website. You can make use of:

· Cross linking— Put up links on your website’s footer or Contact Us page that direct visitors to your blog, and your other social media profiles. Include these links (and one directing back to your website) on your social network profiles’ bio sections.

· Social media buttons— Embedding social media buttons on your blog or website’s pages can direct people to your social profiles, and makes it easy for them to share your content online.

3. Integrate SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of procedures that can empower a brand’s visibility online. As such, infusing it with your social media marketing initiatives can create a significantly positive impact on your brand. Every piece of content you produce should be optimized for SEO to ensure they appear highly on search engine results. This gives your blog, site, and social media profiles a good amount of exposure.

4. Include traditional marketing

While you may be raising your online marketing efforts, it’s best to also include traditional marketing to the mix. This enables you to promote your brand and amplify your message to offline users. Some have tried endorsing their brand on TV and radio programs, advertising in print media, guerilla marketing tactics, and handing out freebies during events, among others.

In these, they make sure they show links to their social media pages, and invite people to, for instance, Like their brand on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

5. Push branding

Help further your social media marketing profiles, it’s important to develop your brand’s identity. This involves pushing your company’s branding components into the forefront of every profile and advertisement. This includes integrating the company logo, typography, and official brand colors to every site’s design.

6. Humanize the brand

People commonly have reservations about contacting a brand, and are more comfortable talking directly to other people. As such, humanizing your brand can definitely boost engagements.

It’s recommended for companies to choose an authoritative yet less serious personality as this veers away from the uptight demeanor corporations are commonly associated with. These must be applied to all online profiles, and should reflect on engagements and every piece of posted content. Another option is to have an actual character or spokesperson to represent the brand, much like what BlendTec has done with its founder Tom Dickson, and Old Spice with Isaiah Mustafa.

This encourages conversations and tends to provide many opportunities to create immersive social media marketing campaigns in the future.

7. Invest in emotionally driven content

Whether written or otherwise, producing content that is emotionally driven is always a great way of boosting your online marketing efforts. People love seeing photos, videos, and written pieces that invoke nostalgia, tugs at people’s heartstrings, or make them laugh—and they love sharing these kinds of content online.

8. Ask questions

One good way of increasing engagements online is by asking questions. It sounds simple, and yet it works. You see, when people see or hear any kind of question, they are automatically compelled to respond.

Though many of us don’t actually reply out loud, providing people with a platform (like your forums, or the comments section on your blog or social media sites), you encourage them to give their two cents. Aside from engagements, user responses can also serve as a resource to refine your social media marketing campaigns.

9. Get into crowdsourcing

In recent years, crowdsourcing has jumped from being a mere buzzword into a potent strategy businesses are integrating into their campaigns. This entails deeply engaging with your demographic to complete projects, promotions, and even advertising ideas. When done properly, this can create a lot of buzz around your brand (perhaps even including news and blog coverage), spread your content online, grow your customer base, and increase revenues. For instance:

Starbucks launched My Starbucks Idea as a platform wherein their followers can submit and vote for brilliant ideas for improving Starbucks’ services—from new coffee and infused teas flavors to suggestions on how to make each store more green.

In 2010, Tim Burton used Twitter to collaborate with people to write a story. The multi-awarded director and writer started with a single tweet, and thousands of participants from all over the world took to the Twittersphere to write 140-character parts of the story. The result was Cadavre Exquis, a whimsical narrative that progressed and concluded thanks to crowdsourcing.

10. Gamify social media marketing

Another strategy empowered by deep engagements is gamification. In a nutshell, it involves injecting gaming mechanics into processes and activities. This can motivate mere spectators to actively participate and strive to achieve your set goals. Like normal games, there should be rules, a scoring system, and rewards. Foursquare, for instance, uses this idea by awarding users with badges for every achievement.

You can also add various levels to make it more challenging for participants to complete your “quests.” Having a Leaderboard can compel them to beat each other for the top scores and even invite more of their friends to take part in your campaign. This can promote your brand, boost engagements, and grow your customers.

The social web is very dynamic, driven by the ever growing technologies and engagements on social media sites. Companies wanting to take advantage of these to enhance their online presence and strengthen their relationships with their customers need to take a proactive approach to social media marketing. In order to do this, they must be open to new ideas and technologies, carefully plan their strategies, and always be on the look-out for innovative ways to engage their demographic.

This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/359931#!#ixzz2hLgWUacy

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